Lakambini Sitoy is the author of two collections of short stories, Mens Rea and Jungle Planet, both published in the Philippines. She received the David T.K. Wong fellowship from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom in 2003 and has an M.A. from Roskilde University, Denmark, in the fields of English Studies and Cultural Encounters, both under the Department of Culture and Identity. She has also received numerous prizes in the annual Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards in the Philippines, was a recipient of Philippine Graphic and Philippines Free Press Awards, and was a columnist and editor at the Manila Times. She lives in Denmark. Sweet Haven is her first novel.
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From a brilliant new talent, comes a sharp and sensual novel set in a decaying and unromanticized Philippines.
In the little city of Donostia, bad news travels fast. So when 16-year-old Naia is found in an illicit pornography video, the tight-knit community is outraged. They want answers. The finger of blame soon points to Narita, Naia’s absentee mother, for putting career ahead of duty.
Now Narita is back from Manila and must face her past and the memories of a life she fled. In search of the answers to her daughter’s scandal, she follows a trail of evidence to reveal a web of family secrets, corruption, prejudice and the barriers of social class.
At its heart, Sweet Haven is a story of a family buffeted by an ailing and intransigent nation, of the simple and bitter ways by which a family falls apart, and the brave leaps they can take to put themselves back together. Sharp-witted, keenly observant, with a passion for the rich tragic-comedy of life, Lakambini Sitoy takes on the everyday complacencies that can shatter a life—or save it.